For the second time President Barack Obama will not attend an Inaugural event ball held to recognize Medal of Honor recipients.
...Obama was criticized by some four years ago when he became the first President to skip the American Legion’s Salute to Heroes ball since it was first held in 1953.
Also noticeably absent from the planned list of attendees for the Jan. 21 event is former Marine Cpl. Dakota Meyer, one of only three living MoH recipients from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and the only one who will not be present.
Those scheduled to attend include Salvatore Giunta and Leroy Petry, former Army staff sergeants who, like Meyer, received the Medal for actions in Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor has been awarded seven other times since 2001 – three for actions in Afghanistan and four in Iraq. In all those cases the award was presented posthumously.
Also scheduled to attend the Salute to Heroes ball are World War II veterans Walter Ehlers and Hershel Williams; Korean War vets Thomas Hudner and Ronald Rosser; and 19 Medal of Honor recipients from the Vietnam War: John Baca, Donald Ballard, Gary Beikirch, Patrick Brady, Sammy Davis, Roger Donlon, Harold Fritz, Joe Jackson, Jack Jacobs, Walter Marm, Jr.; Thomas Norris, Robert O’Malley, Robert Patterson, Alfred Rascon, Ronald Ray, Gordon Roberts, James Sprayberry, Kenneth Stumpf and Brian Thacker.
In all, the 25 veterans slated to attend the ball represent about a third of the living Medal of Honor recipients, according to the Legion... The Legion began holding the Salute to Heroes Ball in 1953 as part of the Inauguration Day events surrounding the swearing in of Dwight Eisenhower as the 34th President of the United States.
Every president since then made an appearance at the ball until Obama four years ago.
This president doesn't much care for the American military, as evidenced by his efforts to dismantle it and instead redirect those monies to making the welfare state even more pervasive.
Image: Walter Ehlers and Hershel Williams, 2003, Photo by Mike Yoder/Journal-World Photo.